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Moscow (CNN) — Russia will need to speed up the development of its nuclear strike capabilities if the United States does not convince Moscow its missile defense system isn’t aimed at Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

Medvedev is not persuaded by American assurances that the proposed Europe-based system is not aimed at Russia, he said in a rare news conference.

“There are no other countries apart from Russia which have those capabilities, and they will not have them in the years to come,” he said.

If Washington moves forward with its missile defense system, it could also prompt Russia to scrap a key arms limitation treaty, he added.

“If missile defense systems are to be developed — which would mean the disruption of strategic parity — the treaty could be suspended or even terminated,” he said, referring to the New START accord for which President Barack Obama has pressed hard.

Medvedev said Russia was willing to see the development of a European missile defense shield if it “complies with clear rules.”

“We are ready to cooperate, and at the same time, we hope that we get assurances that these capabilities are not directed at us,” he said.

The Russian president also praised a thaw in relations with NATO, saying Moscow and the alliance’s relations were “not bad,” and “developing normally.”

Hawaii, Russia and Taiwan threatened by tsunami

Posted by arnon_k On March - 11 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — A tsunami warning has been issued as far west as Hawaii after a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Japan.

Tsunami warnings were issued Friday for at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands, including Japan, coastal Russia and the Marcus Islands, the Northern Marianas, Wake Island, Taiwan and Guam.

People along coastal areas are urged to evacuate, emergency officials warned.

The tsunami could cause damage “along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii,” warned the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in a bulletin issued at 9:31 p.m. Thursday local Hawaiian time. “Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property.”

Waves are expected to hit Hawaii around 3 a.m. Friday local time.

List of countries threatened by tsunami

Tsunamis are a series of long ocean waves that can last five to 15 minutes and cause extensive flooding in coastal areas. A succession of waves can hit — often the highest not being the first, said CNN International meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
A tsunami is sweeping across the Pacific Ocean after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Honshu Island, Japan. Japan’s NHK showed footage of cars, boats and buildings — some of them ablaze — being swept inland in Miyagi Prefecture.

The temblor is the largest earthquake since the 9.0 earthquake struck the Banda Aceh area of Indonesia on December 26, 2004, causing a massive tsunami that killed tens of thousands in more than a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean.

Tsunami waves can travel at speeds of 800 kilometers (497 miles) per hour. The earthquake, initially reported as a 7.8 earthquake, was upgraded to an 8.8 quake. The epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from the capital, Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said, and 24 kilometers deep — a relatively shallow depth.

“When you jump a magnitude from 7 to 8, it’s not 10 times stronger, it’s a 1000 times stronger,” said Cabrera. “With an 8.8 earthquake that shallow, that close to shore, there will be more than one tsunami.”

Earthquake magnitudes: What do they mean?

The quake struck about 2:40 p.m. local time Friday in Tokyo, interrupting a sunny spring afternoon.

“You could tell this was different, instantly … you literally couldn’t stand on your feet the ground was shaking so hard,” said Matt Alt, who lives on the west side of Tokyo. “We have earthquakes from time to time, but we never feel anything like the literal magnitude of this quake.”

Fires were reported around Tokyo, and a large fire at a Chiba Prefecture oil refinery northeast of Tokyo sent billowing black smoke into the sky, NHK reported.

Indian Ocean tsunami killed about 250,000 people in 14 countries. That tsunami, which washed away entire communities, caused nearly $10 billion in damage and more casualties than any other tsunami in history, according to the United Nations.

Export to Russia

Posted by arnon_k On February - 23 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Seeking new markets policies of the Ministry of Commerce (Portiva Nakasai), Mr.Pasit Phumchusri, minister of Office of International Trade at Moscow, has recently been at Kazan the capital of Tatarstan.

Republic of Tatarstan is a republic or federal subject of Russia .Its capital Kazan is one of Russia’s largest and most prosperous cities. Interest at this time to import goods from Thailand. Although it is to set up distributorship in Thailand in Moscow and St. Petersburg will have the opportunity to sell more exports with no branches. However some importers want to import through an intermediary to avoid the hassle of customs import – export.

“Now the Department of Export Promotion discussed with the Chamber of Commerce at Kazan to seek avenues to import goods directly from Thailand and not through an intermediary in Moscow. In the year 2018,the Kazan city was selected as a place in the World Cup, which is a good chance in the distribution of Thai products in the world” Pasit said.

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Moscow (CNN) — A suicide bomber attacked Moscow’s busiest airport on Monday, killing 35 people and wounding about 100, authorities and state television said.

The blast occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the entrance of the international arrivals section of Domodedovo Airport, the Itar-Tass news agency reported, citing a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee, Tatyana Morozova.

State TV aired video of the smoke-filled terminal, including what looked like bodies and luggage on the ground.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called the bombing a terrorist attack and immediately ordered additional security at airports and transportation hubs around the country. Moscow police went on high alert in case of additional attacks.
Russian Health Minister Tatyana Golikova said 35 people died in the blast and 93 people were hospitalized. Forty-one of those injured are in serious or critical condition, she said. Some people were given care outside of the hospital, while others were treated for hearing loss, fractures and smoke inhalation.

Earlier, the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee had said 35 people died and 152 were wounded in the explosion.

State TV, citing Russian authorities, said the attack was the act of a suicide bomber who stuffed a homemade bomb with small metal objects to make it more deadly, then activated it in a crowded area where many people were waiting for arriving passengers. CNN could not independently verify those claims.

A heavy police presence remained outside the airport hours after the explosion, and more than 10 ambulances left the scene with lights flashing and sirens screeching.

Domodedovo is 22 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of Moscow. According to the airport’s website, it is the largest of Moscow’s three airports, as well as the busiest in terms of passenger traffic.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for Monday’s blast, though previous terror attacks in Russia have been blamed on militants from the North Caucasus region.

In 2004, two airplanes that took off from Domodedovo exploded, killing at least 89 people in an attack linked to Chechen suicide bombers.

An explosive device derailed an express train in November 2009, killing at least 26 people. Chechen rebels were blamed again.

In March of last year, female suicide bombers linked to the group were accused of attacking subway stations in central Moscow during rush hour, killing some 38 people.

Golikova said Monday’s blast and its aftermath were similar to previous attacks.
“This (character of injuries) is very similar to terror acts that we’ve seen recently. The types of wounds and the condition of the injured as well as what they communicate — all this is very typical for those kinds of terrorist act situations, unfortunately,” she said.

Elina Bakhtina told state TV she was at the airport cafe she owns when the explosion occurred.

“The blast must have been very strong, because our cafe is about 100 meters from the arrivals area. When we heard the blast, glass just started falling from the ceiling,” she said.

Tatyana Papova, who was waiting at passport control when the explosion occurred, told state TV that escalators stopped working at the baggage claim area and airport employees started breaking down walls to help clear people from the area.

Incoming flights scheduled to land at Domodedovo were being diverted to Moscow’s other airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, Russian TV said.

However, airport spokeswoman Yelena Galanova told Russian state TV that the airport was “operating as usual.”

An airport employee, Andrei Surkov, told CNN that while the international arrivals area was closed, international passengers were being routed through the domestic terminal located on the other end of the airport.

Lufthansa spokeswoman Claudia Lange said the airline has suspended all flights to Domodedovo until further notice.

Members of the international community immediately offered their condolences and condemned the violence.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombing a “premeditated attack against innocent civilians.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said British officials are “in urgent contact with Russian authorities to establish the facts and to provide consular support to any British nationals who may have been affected.”

According to preliminary information from Russian investigators, two British citizens were killed in the blast.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned the attack and urged greater cooperation in the fight against terrorism, while German, French and Israeli leaders also offered their condolences.

Will Geddes, terrorism expert and managing director of International Corporate Protection Group, called the bombing a “very significant terror strike.”

Read how the Moscow blast is expected to affect security worldwide

“To strike in the airport — which is fundamentally believed and understood by many to be one of the most secure types of installations in a city or in a country — to have such a devastating attack with such a tragic result, means that they had planned this considerably well and gone ahead in achieving their aims,” he said.

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